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Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program

Abebe, Abiye Shenkut and Alemayehu, Kefyalew and Johansson, Anna Maria and Gizaw, Solomon (2020). Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program. PLoS ONE. 15 , e0233040 , 1-18
[Journal article]

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify breeding practices and trait preferences for indigenous sheep in three districts (Estie, Farta and Lay Gayient) located in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Questionnaire survey and choice experiment methods were used to collect data from 370 smallholder farmers. Respondents were selected randomly among smallholder farmers who own sheep in the aforementioned districts. A generalized multinomial logit model was employed to examine preferences for sheep attributes, while descriptive statistics and index values were computed to describe sheep breeding practices. Having the highest index value of 0.36, income generation was ranked as the primary reason for keeping sheep, followed by meat and manure sources. The average flock size per smallholder farmer was 10.21 sheep. The majority of the smallholder farmers (91%) have the experience of selecting breeding rams and ewes within their own flock using diverse criteria. Given the highest index value of 0.34, body size was ranked as a primary ram and ewe selection criteria, followed by coat color. Furthermore, choice modeling results revealed that tail type, body size, coat color, growth rate, horn and ear size have shown significant influences on smallholder farmers' preference for breeding rams (P<0.01). The part-worth utility coefficients were positive for all ram attributes except ear size. For breeding ewes, mothering ability, coat color, body size, lambing interval, growth rate, tail type and litter size have shown significant effects on choice preferences of smallholder farmers (P<0.05). Moreover, significant scale heterogeneity was observed among respondents for ewe attributes (P<0.001). Overall, the results implied that sheep breeding objectives suitable for the northwest highlands of the country can be derived from traits such as linear body measurement, weight and survival at different ages, and lambing intervals. However, selection decisions at the smallholder level should not only be based on estimated breeding values of traits included in the breeding objective but instead, incorporate ways to address farmers' preference for qualitative traits.

Authors/Creators:Abebe, Abiye Shenkut and Alemayehu, Kefyalew and Johansson, Anna Maria and Gizaw, Solomon
Title:Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:15
Article number:e0233040
Number of Pages:18
Publisher:PLoS
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106650
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106650
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0233040
Web of Science (WoS)000537475000038
ID Code:17219
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Jul 2020 08:09
Metadata Last Modified:10 Jul 2020 08:09

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